Friday, March 28, 2014

Following The Money

Mark Felt -- alias Deep Throat -- advised Woodward and Bernstein to follow the money. It was good advice forty years ago; and it's good advice now. Consider the following report from Althia Raj at the Huffington Post:

The Conservative government has spent $482 million on outside legal fees since it came to power in 2006. And more than $447,045 to defend the Prime Minister, his staff and ministers, according to documents tabled in the House of Commons.

These fees were for lawyer's outside the house that Harper built:

As Liberal MP Sean Casey said, " “It’s just a shocking number. They closed Veterans [Affairs]’ district offices and saved $5 million bucks, [but] over the past eight years, they’ve spent half a billion on outside lawyers. It’s pretty stark.”

It's not that the government doesn't have its own stable of lawyers:

Although the Department of Justice employs approximately 2,500 lawyers who defend the government on all types of matters, it also relies on private-sector law practitioners to carry out its mandate, spokeswoman Carole Saindon said Wednesday. 

The outside lawyers were used largely to defend various Conservatives who found themselves the subjects of ethics investigations. Charlie Angus discovered that

the vast majority of outside legal services used by Tory cabinet ministers and those under their employ were used to defend against probes by Commons’ Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson or investigations by Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault, who looks into abuses of the Access to Information regimen.

At Public Works and Government Services Canada, for example, $194,988 was paid between 2011 and 2013 to Paul K. Lepsoe, the Conservative Party of Canada’s former lawyer. Lepsoe’s work was related to an ethics probe involving former minister Christian Paradis as well as an investigation into whether his political staff improperly interfered in the handling of Access to Information requests.

The Harperites came to power promising sound economic management and righteous government.




Anonymous said...

It pays to be a lawyer in unethical Harper-vile you will never run out of work, ever. I am willing to bet Harper has spent more on legal fees than any other and most likely all other prime ministers combined before him. He literally began enriching lawyers at the expense of taxpayers before he became PM :Harper v. Canada (Attorney General), [2004] 1 S.C.R. 827, 2004 SCC 33,..." lets us know that Harper was prepared and determined to use the courts and their officers (lawyers) for his own benefit, google it its worth a read to the inside look at 'his way'.


Lorne said...

These are shocking numbers, Owen, but ultimately not really surprising. They are yet just another indication of the absolute contempt that the Harper regime has for ordinary Canadians, people who, one can only hope, will not forget this and the myriad other outrages that have occurred since 2006 when they next go to the polls.

Owen Gray said...

The abuse is totally in the open now, Lorne. And the Harperites aren't the least embarrassed -- as your post this morning on Pierre Poilievre makes abundantly clear.

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Mogs. Life is so much easier when you can stick the public with your legal fees.

Anonymous said...

These shocking figures do not even include the amounts that they must have spent to quietly settle the law suits with those people they had wrongly accused of various things (e.g. terrorist links, no Canadian papers, etc.).

Ever wonder why we have not heard any more about the Canadians who had been stranded in various parts of Africa and/or middle east and had difficulty getting back into Canada?

They must have been paid off and signed off to keep quiet.

Owen Gray said...

The bottom line, Anon, is that the Harperites have left Canadians to pay the bill for the mistakes they have made.

Anonymous said...

Canadians are for too complacent. In other countries, they run their corrupt, evil dictators, right out of their countries. Harper's security bill has doubled. I wonder why? What country can we call on, to save us from Harper?

It seems to me? Harper stirred up enough trouble over the Putin fiasco. Christy Clark has gone East with her entourage to talk about her LNG. Does Christy and Harper's LNG sales, have anything to do with Europe, buying NG from BC?

We all know? Harper does nothing out of, the goodness of his heart. Harper only does, what benefits Harper.

Owen Gray said...

There's always a calculation behind Harper's action, Anon. Nothing is done without considering how he will benefit from an action.

Steve said...

No chance this money is being recycled as political donations. That could never happen in Canada.

the salamander said...

.. those notable protectors of The Canadian Environment.. Stephen Harper and his chosen Ministers of Environment
are in what? Year 6 of defying, ignoring their legal mandate and the direction of our Federal Courts ..

And.. appealing.. relegislating.. obstructing
in order to avoid Protecting Endangered Species
and/or developing and forwarding programs that fulfill their legally mandated requirements ?

How much is that legal bill Mr Harper, Mr Peter Kent?
Outside lawyers? Inside lawyers? Six years ..........
How many legal losers got paid big money
for this scandalous failure
but astoundingly successful obstruction
on behalf of your PetroPartners and China ??

FYI .. the caribou? You're OK with exterminating?
They're on our 25 cent piece
Maybe your cabin boy, P Polievre
can get that oversight corrected
and get your mealy face on the coin of the land ..

Anonymous said...

...nothing like having lawyers guns and several to many thousands of billions of Canadians hard-to-come-by-$$$ to blow in the wind.

(i've always told the kids- if you see a large group of mostly, large- lawyers, with arthur hamilton leading the charge and the best outside help we can afford, in tow? surrounded by harpersguns and $$$-- run! do not walk back here and stay close til...the only thing left for them is the right to remain silent. they's scary, little ones!)
my fave o' the week is- fining 'job creators' [see; greedy capitalist wannabees an' parasites]- mitt/oliver, anyone? for abusing the system...while shipping in dil-bit workers an' jailing our FN young- so they can't get the jobs SH promised them (whateva' "dogriverspit" ya. ok.) for- being CPC'd into living down
the Athabasca River from the serene but deadly waters of The Tailings Ponds funparks- AB. AB...resource plundering. yay them. fine the farmers too, well you're at it. oh, ya.

oh and the gadzillion dollar (in con-terms) coiffage/dressage they charged to us??
that kills. but then, so does- denying the ill in-site health centres- but hey! we don't much vote OR have id. or count. and, it basically sucks to be us.
lovely, dudes. teaparty'n, much?

when o' when will 015 arrive.
no, mustn't really wish time away-that would kinda defeat the whole purpose of it,

i think.

Owen Gray said...

Let's hope we never see Harper's face on any of our currency, salamander -- which, come to think of it, is probably what Harper seeks.

Owen Gray said...

We used to think, Steve, that some things would never happen in the Peaceable Kingdom.

But that was before the advent of Stephen Harper.

Owen Gray said...

You can see Harper's legacy from space, Loving It. The Tar Sands makes a statement about the man which no amount of political propaganda can cover up,

Anonymous said...

Yep, but can't you just wait til the lamebots start fluffing it?
I mean,
Ivison-he's a natural-
or judge? you pick!
I've been trying to determine whether i should coin it...

Highway to Hell tour
Bitumen Fields Forever
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
On Golden Tailings Ponds...where
duck nor sparrow will ever,
live, again.

Owen Gray said...

All of those suggestions have staying power, Loving It. It would be fitting -- and just -- if one of them would stick like bitumen to the man.

Anonymous said...

well, Owe, not to be flippant,
but sweetbabyJesus knows- we all about looking for some justice!!

Owen Gray said...

It would be nice, Loving It, to see a bit of Justice.